Kuwait expects to sign the final contracts to build its Al Zour refinery within two months, after awarding deals worth $8.4bn for the Middle East’s biggest refinery project, an oil official said.

KNPC has awarded deals to build its new 615,000 bpd refinery to four South Korean firms and one Japanese company in the Middle East’s biggest refinery project. A package worth $4bn to build crude distillation units went to a combination of Japan’s JGC Corporation, and South Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction Corporation.

“Contracts will be signed within two months,” commented state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) Deputy Chairman, Assad Al Saad.

A $2bn contract went to South Korea’s SK Energy to build a hydrogen production unit, while Daelim Industrial won a $1.2bn contract to set up storage tanks.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction won a $1.1bn deal for marine export facilities, while another project was won by US engineering firm Fluor Corporation, KNPC said.